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23 April 2015 – The United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) today expressed deep regret at the continuation of hostilities in the Upper Nile state capital of Malakal, and the resulting civilian displacement.
“UNMISS received more internally displaced persons at its protection-of-civilians sites in the Mission’s compound outside Malakal today,” said a press release from the Mission this afternoon.
“At the same time, the Mission is adhering to its policy of providing shelter to combatants who surrender their weapons and remove their military uniforms prior to entering one of its protection sites,” it added.
A number of stray bullets hit an UNMISS vehicle and sanitation facilities used by its military peacekeepers earlier today. Some mortar rounds also landed 400 meters outside the perimeter of its compound, and shelling took place near the installation of the Mission’s Bangladeshi riverine unit.
“While there is no evidence that the Mission has been targeted thus far during this week’s fighting, UNMISS calls on the belligerent forces to ensure the safety of all UN personnel and the inviolability of UN physical assets,” the release said.
The Mission also called on the commanders of these “belligerent forces” to exercise restraint and immediately cease all hostilities.
Meanwhile, the Humanitarian Coordinator in South Sudan, Toby Lanzer, called today for the unconditional freedom of movement for aid workers, in response to deteriorating conditions for humanitarian organizations in Pagak, also in Upper Nile state.
“Aid workers have left the area until conditions improve, after being harassed and threatened,” Mr. Lanzer’s statement said.
Some 119,000 people are sheltered in UN compounds across South Sudan.